Functional localisation of human sensory-motor cortex using magnetoencephalography

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The 19 channel Neuromagnetometer system in the Clinical Neurophysiology Unit at Aston University is a multi-channel system, unique in the United Kingdom.
A bite bar head localisation and MRI co-registration strategy which enabled accurate and reproducible localisation of MEG data into cortical space was developed. This afforded the opportunity to study magnetic fields of the human cortex generated by stimulation of peripheral nerve, by stimulation of visceral sensory receptors and by those evoked through voluntary finger movement.
Initially, a study of sensory-motor evoked data was performed in a healthy control population. The techniques developed were then applied to patients who were to undergo neurosurgical intervention for the treatment of epilepsy and I or space occupying lesions. This enabled both validation of the effective accuracy of source localisation using MEG as well as to determine the clinical value of MEG in presurgical assessment of functional localisation in human cortex.
The studies in this thesis have demonstrated that MEG can repeatedly and reliably locate sources contained within a single gyrus and thus potentially differentiate between disparate gyral activation. This ability is critical in the clinical application of any functional imaging technique; which is yet to be fully validated by any other 'non-invasive' functional imaging methodology.
The technique was also applied to the study of visceral sensory representation in the cortex which yielded important data about the multiple cortical representation of visceral sensory function.
Date of AwardMar 1998
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorGraham F.A. Harding (Supervisor)


  • somatosensory cortex
  • motor cortex
  • evoked response
  • visceral sensation

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